Showing posts with label Vegas Strip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vegas Strip. Show all posts

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tasting a Vegas “Cosmopolitan”

We left the wide open spaces of Arizona and headed north to Sin City – Las Vegas – two weekends ago on a route that lead us through picturesque Wickenburg and Kingman, Arizona and past Hoover dam.

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On the road near Kingman, Arizona

Following our north-bound journey, we returned the rental car, hopped a cab and headed out for a new adventure on the famous Vegas Strip; we'd booked ourselves at the Cosmopolitan Resort, a Marriott managed property, between The Bellagio and City Center.

We’d watched its construction progress slowly in recent years and after its opening had visited its over-the-top glitzy casino and common areas, but its price tag for rooms had kept us from staying there - until The Scout found us a deal on Expedia.

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Las Vegas Cosmopolitan from The Bellagio

Following a groundbreaking in 2005, the hotel finally opened its doors in December 2010. The original plan for a condo-hotel mixed use property was dashed by financial difficulties during the construction process and the focus became solely hotel – but there was no doubt the room we were in was intended to be a condo. 

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[Travel Tip: I can’t emphasize often enough, how valuable are the brand loyalty programs. Our Marriott loyalty got us upgraded to a one-bedroom suite and a room with a balcony. But sometimes even an upgraded room just doesn’t make a property any more appealing to one’s personal tastes.]

The south-facing balcony (pictured above) got both morning and afternoon sun but the unit itself was very dark; decorated in browns, slate gray and muted blue colors. It was the camera’s flash that lightened its appearance in the photos below.

PicMonkey Collage

There was no doubt this room had been intended to be a condo, as evidenced by a kitchenette complete with full-sized microwave, built-in dishwasher, small refrigerator and tons of cupboard space.

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The cupboards were empty – not a plate or spoon to be found. The refrigerator was pre-stocked with snacks, the kind that if you move them you are charged for them. (That empty part in the photo, is a freezer we quickly learned when those bottles of water in the above photo froze within an hour of being placed there.)

A selling point was the thought of coffee made in the room (sipping it while in your jammies in bed = perfection!) but there wasn't a coffee or hot water pot and cups to be found. Nor were there any to be had in the hotel. Coffee, we were told, had to be ordered from room service.

PicMonkey Collage

The room décor was  also very modern and artsy. . .two features that don’t appeal to our more traditional tastes in hotel décor. These are two of the wall coverings: the left one blasts you from the closet and the right is a portion of the bathroom wall covering – take a close look at the one on the right, see the women? 

Housekeeping wasn't at the standard to which we've become accustomed to at a Marriott facility (and those details were noted on the follow up evaluation of our stay).

On the bright side: At least our two-night stay satiated our curiosity about the nearly 3,000 rooms that tower above that glitzy chandelier-draped common area.

PhxtoVegas2013 079But the reality was, we just didn't like the place.

Its vibe and our tastes just didn't mesh.

In fairness I have to tell you that we may be in the minority. I just read that the 2.5 million on-line users and travelers of named The Cosmopolitan the “Best Hotel in the World” 2013.

On the bright side - one more time: We’d signed up for a Marriott promotion, forgotten about it, and just learned that our two night stay here earned us a free night’s stay – which will be used at another Marriott property!

So there you go!  Have you ever stayed at a highly rated place to find that you didn’t like it? If so, tell us about it in the comment section below or shoot us an email and I’ll include your comments in a future post (if you give me permission to do so).

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Travel Tuesday: A Vegas Room with a View. . .

After being somewhat regular ‘sun seekers’ to this Nevada hot spot (figuratively and literally) we’ve recently had so many other places on our ‘travel bucket list’ that we hadn’t made it back here for a year and a half.   Until last week. . . when we stayed at Encore, a resort on the northern end of the town’s famous, Strip. It is a sister resort to Wynn, which is pictured below.

PicMonkey Collage

Our view from Encore’s 51st floor was nothing short of spectacular (and for those inquiring minds out there, we did pay an additional $30 a night over the standard room rate, for the room on a higher floor that provided us this view – but it was worth it in our estimation).  When the mercury topped out in the triple digits, we sat in air-conditioned comfort and gazed at this view.

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One morning we were amazed to watch these two workmen ease their scaffolding past our window, so very high up on this building that it made me nauseous just taking the photo.

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A few hours later, what went down earlier in the already hot morning, came back up again in the hotter afternoon.  These two and so many other unsung heroes of the hospitality industry do the work that keeps travelers like us wrapped in cozy, comfortable digs.

We are guilty of taking such work for granted until we witness such hair-raising scenes as this.  Today I wanted to take a moment to honor – and thank -- all those behind-the-scenes folks (we were told Wynn/Encore alone employs some 12,000 employees) who made our stay such a treat!

Have you had any similar sightings on your travels? Or moments that made you pause to think about all the behind-the-scenes folks? 

As always, thanks for your visit today; we hope to see you back again as regulars and definitely on Thursday for our weekly travel photo fest!


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